SONGKRAN! I’m so looking forward to this!
Continuing the Thai Theme Week, I want to tell you what I’m looking forward to the most and that is SONGKRAN!
What is it?
It’s basically one big water fight that has the whole country involved for a few days!
Okay, there’s more to that!
Songkran is celebrated in Thailand as their traditional New Year’s Day from 13 to 15 April every year. It coincides with the New Year of many calendars of South and South East Asia.
It falls in the hottest part of the year and and also at the end of the dry season. So everyone’s feeling sticky, wrinkled and generally feeling like a Mummy from Egypt. So the Buddhists had the bright idea of creating a festival that co-incided with the new year to cleanse all buddhist images with water and thai fragrance to bring good luck and prosperity for the new year. All buddhist statues are taken out from their ‘wats’ (temples) and paraded in the streets so locals can toss water over them. This is extremely popular in Chiang Mai. The water that has been doused over the buddhist statues are then collected and splashed onto locals’ shoulders to bring good luck to them.
Now as a result, the young people has taken this to douse each other and foreigners with water to relieve each other of the stifling heat that reaches to highs of 40s centigrade. Hot it certainly is! So now it has evolved into a country of water throwing and and fun!
It’s a great tradition that has everyone within the country irregardless of race, gender, age, politics, local or foreigner, or any difference that can involved and generally have a muck about having fun with smiles on your faces. A whole 3 days of water in your face!
However, some traditionists argue that the festival has lost all spiritual and religious meaning and aspects so I shall endeavour to visit a wat at this time to understand and appreciate these aspects in respect to the traditionalists.
So with that while I’m wielding a water gun, I look forward to living it up with my new travel mates and pelting water balloons at each other yelling ‘Songkran!’ while I’m there in Thailand in April! I cannot wait!
Have you been to the Songkran Festival?